To mark this year’s Carers Rights Day, the Leeds Carers Partnership has launched a new strategy focused on supporting the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of those providing unpaid care.
With support from the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, the strategy, known as ‘Putting carers at the heart of everything we do’, sets out to support the health and wellbeing of carers and reduce the health and financial inequalities they experience while caring.
The Leeds Carers Partnership, which brings staff from diverse organisations together with carers, has set out six priorities as part of this strategy. These are:
- Making Leeds a carer-friendly city, for example, by encouraging more businesses to take part in the Leeds Commitment to Carers
- Improving identification of carers
- Supporting carers to care
- Ensuring the right support at the right time for young carers
- Amplifying carer voice and involvement
- Influencing change and innovation within caring.
Underpinning these priorities are a series of statements which set out the partnership’s vision for what Leeds could look like for carers. These statements, which range from having better access to information and advice to feeling recognised and listened to, build on what carers themselves have said is important to them.
With these shared values in place, partners including Leeds City Council, the NHS and voluntary sector organisations will work together to better identify, acknowledge and support carers. Currently, there are more than 75,000 people in Leeds providing unpaid care, often alongside work or education, for someone who otherwise could not manage without their support.
As part of this strategy, Family Action is delivering the Leeds Young Carers Support Service, which works with practitioners to help identify young carers who may be hidden within their communities, ensuring they have access to the support they need and that their voices are heard.
Organised by Carers UK, Carers Right Day is an annual event focused on ensuring carers are aware of their rights and know where to get help and support. For information on the support available to carers in Leeds, please visit the Carers Leeds website.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults and chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board said:
“We want Leeds to be a healthy and caring city for all, one which actively works to support the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of residents, which is why I’m proud to support the new Leeds Carers Partnership strategy.
“With the Covid-19 crisis highlighting just how important a role unpaid carers play in our society, putting them at the heart of what we do could arguably not have come at a better time. All too often, carers feel isolated without access to the support and information they need, which is why this strategy’s focus on identifying, acknowledging and supporting carers is so welcome.
“With the support of great organisations across Leeds, I hope that this strategy, and the work that is done to support it, will help carers feel better cared for.”
Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds said:
“I am proud to work closely with Leeds City Council and our partners to develop this new carers strategy. This isn’t a document to sit on a dusty shelf, it is a real commitment by people across Leeds to do all we can to make a difference to the lives of carers.
“We have worked with carers in Leeds to develop a list of priorities, and this strategy will help to connect all of the brilliant work happening across the city to identify and support carers. Together, we are better.”
Carers Leeds is an independent charity that gives specialist and tailored support, advice and information to unpaid carers aged over 16. Established in 1996, our team of expert support workers are dedicated to improving the lives of thousands of carers in Leeds www.carersleeds.org.uk